Thursday, 18 February 2016

The Twilight of Our Literacy, Part 1: Intro, Opening, Preface

General Warning: If there are any Twilight fans reading this, this may not be for you. This involves a lot of hate towards that book (and saga) you love. I would hope that anyone reading this had the maturity to accept that others have different views and maybe listen in and come out thinking the other person might have a point, but seeing as I'm not that mature most of the time I can't really expect it of my readers.

Now that the Twi-Hards are all gone, hello and welcome to Minim's reading of that sparkle-vampire book that got big a few years ago and gained lots of popularity with teenage girls, such as the girl from one of my classes who said I couldn't be a vampire because I wasn't sparkling. (Well, first, Meyer-vires don't sparkle except in direct sunlight, and we were in a classroom. Second, I'd not even read Twilight because romantic fiction has never appealed to me and so all the vampires I knew about didn't sparkle. They just lost their powers in daylight. And yes, I do call myself a vampire sometimes. I have my reasons)

I got hooked into the hatedom about a year ago when I discovered a reading of it. I will happily spend hours upon hours reading blogs about how Twilight sucks. And my current flatmate and mother ('current mother'? I didn't know I could pick and choose, not that I would), knowing this, recently picked up something from a charity shop. (If you can't guess what that is from what all I've said so far, it has words such as 'twilight' and 'STEPHENIE MEYER' on the front page. Just a hint *wink wink nudge nudge*)

The dedication is to Meyer's big sister. Apparently Twilight would still be unfinished without her enthusiasm. She acknowledges lots of other people on the next page, and then the contents. We've still got the 'preface,' 24 chapters and an epilogue to go. Who's excited?

Opening quote! But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Genesis 2:17). Forbidden fruit metaphor, tying in with the apple on the cover. Are we going to see any forbidden fruit? I doubt it.

Onto the 'preface' now - I call it a 'preface' because it's not. Prefaces are authorial chatter about the book. These five paragraphs are more of a prologue - they're fiction. It's first person from our protagonist, Bella Swan. (I shouldn't know this yet, but it is). She's facing a 'hunter' who is about to kill her.

Now, look at these phrases:

[H]e looked pleasantly back at me.

The hunter smiled in a friendly way as he sauntered forward to kill me.

Least. Threatening. Villain. Ever. Seriously, this guy's about to kill you, but no, he's all friendly and pleasant. "Hello, I'm your friendly neighbourhood vampire, and I'm here to suck you dry of blood if you don't mind, of course,"

Another issue is this: 'Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of someone else, someone I loved. Noble, even. That ought to count for something.' Oh yes, tell us how great you are, why don't you. Bella's telling me that her death will be oh-so-noble because she's doing it for someone else makes me think that it's not a completely selfless act - that she wants to be thought of as noble and all that. Or that she's quite big-headed. It doesn't give such a big weight as sacrifices tend to in many other books and stories.

Welcome to Twilight.

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